Review: Why Women Need Fat

Healthy living is and has been for a long time a big goal of mine. I aim to cook real food as much as possible and we shop mostly at farmers markets in the summertime.

But I am not without flaw. Put a bag of barbecue potato chips in front of me and I can’t resist their sweet crunch. I also have a sizable sweet tooth. Oh, and I have been trying to kick the diet soda habit for awhile now (and have been fairly successful in recent weeks).

When I was recently asked to read and review Why Women Need Fat: How “Healthy” Food Makes Us Gain Excess Weight and the Surprising Solution to Losing It Forever by William D. Lassek, M.D. and Steven J. C. Gaulin, Ph.D., I was intrigued. And I am so glad I said yes because this book had me hooked from page one.

The book centers around the idea that America’s weight problem can’t be solved with diets but rather with reverting to the way we ate in the early 20th century. It’s framed really well with research on how and when the weight of Americans began to climb and how we can fix it — without dieting.

What if instead of making ourselves healthier, we’ve been making ourselves fatter and less healthy by following the very recommendations built to supposedly help us? What if this whole time we’ve been lied to about what’s healthy and what’s not?

According to this book, if we want to change things, we need to change the food we eat to be more Michael Pollen-esk … forget corn oil, soybean oil and low-fat foods. What you need is the real deal: olive oil, meats, eggs, dairy and fresh fruits and veggies. And lots of Omega-3.

As a longtime dieter, this book really spoke to me. As it notes, diets just don’t work. What works — and what has worked for me long term — is eating nutritious real foods. Call me crazy, but I am willing to give this plan a try and see what happens.

What do you think? Could eating whole foods with more natural fats be the answer to weight problems?

I read this book as part of the BlogHer Book Club. Pop over to the Why Women Need Fat page to join in the discussion about the thought-provoking topics it raises.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this review through the BlogHer Book Club. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. says

    I wholeheartedly agree with this book’s message! Fake fats or processed diet food never makes me feel as satisfied as a handful of almonds or just eating a damn homemade baked good or that spoonful of peanut butter that I was craving. Plus healthy fats are SO important for our joints, hormones, and brain function.

    • sarah says

      I agree — it’s way more satisfying to have what you want then to try to substitute something else. It never works.

  2. says

    I do think healthy living involves balance – there’s nothing wrong with something like potato chips every now and again, if you’re not eating the whole bag in one sitting.

  3. says

    I think I may have to pick up this book on my Kindle! What you have shared is how I think I need to move forward with my healthy eating… all that other “stuff” THEY have been telling us hasn’t been helping me lose weight at all.

  4. says

    Sarah, great post and a point that a lot of people miss when dieting. I learned this lesson the hard way when I was doing triathlons. I was always hungry, even after eating. One of my athlete friends told me that I needed to add healthy fat to my meals because fat is what makes you feel full. Adding a few slices of avocado or a little cheese to a dish made all the difference.

    • sarah says

      Thanks, Kristi. The difficult part may be getting over the (obviously misplaced) guilt of having fat. It’s been so ingrained that fat is bad, you kind of have to reprogram yourself. Did you find that at all?

      • says

        Sarah, It does take some rethinking, but I’ve found that I’ve had to change a lot of my thinking about food so this was just one more piece in that puzzle. It’s amazing how much misinformation we’ve learned over the years.

        • sarah says

          It really is. It’s amazing how villainized some foods have been over the years — eggs, whole milk, cheese, even bananas. But the idea of never dieting again? That’s so exciting … and freeing.

  5. Roxanne says

    Most will be opposite to this as they want to become more sexy. Even the skinny ones still strives for a more thinner look.

    • sarah says

      The book talks a lot about how when we ate more naturally — before the low-fat revolution — we were naturally thinner and leaner. I think that’s really what most people want. Of course there are some who want to be downright skinny, but we all know that being that way comes at a high price — not eating.

  6. says

    I agree. Healthy fats in moderation are always better than processed low fat stuff. I would rather eat full fat ice cream than the light version. If you look at the ingredients, the full fat one has all whole, real ingredients (except maybe the white processed sugar isn’t so great). But the label on the light ice cream as a whole list of ingredients that I can’t even pronounce. Now with that said, I have a new found love for Coconut Milk Ice Cream. It has about the same fat/calories as light ice cream but has all whole ingredients. It also has 6 grams of fiber per serving. Super Bonus!

    • sarah says

      I’m definitely coming around to the idea of using whole fats again. I’ve always used full fat cheese but milk and ice cream in the summer will be an adjustment — a good one though. They are more satisfying, I think. I’ll have to check out the coconut milk ice cream. Where do you get it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *